Fernando Velasco calls the dogs during the Bulldogs’ game against Vanderbilt at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016. (Photo by John Paul Van Wert)
Photo: John Paul Van Wert
Photo: John Paul Van Wert

Bulldogs lose another key staffer to Arkansas

Fernando “Bubba” Velasco, who has worked in football operations for the Bulldogs since retiring from the NFL, is leaving to join Sam Pittman’s staff at Arkansas as director of player development.

Velasco has served Georgia coach Kirby Smart as assistant director of player development the past three years. He joined Smart’s staff as player-relations coordinator in 2016.

“Thanks to the leadership of Jonas Jennings (BITW) and the teamwork of Austin (Chambers) and Pat (Bastien), we were able to play a small role in the personal and academic development of our student-athletes,” Velasco said in a Twitter post announcing his departure. “Thanks Coach Smart and everyone who make the UGA program possible. This place is special and leaving is bittersweet. But I know because of Georgia I’m prepared for what’s next.”


Velasco certainly learned from one of the best. He has assisted Jennings the past three years in the multi-faceted role that is player development. “BITW” stands for Best In The World, which many believe is the a true statement for Jennings.

Velasco, who hails from Wrens, started at center and guard for the Bulldogs and won an SEC championship with them in 2005. Velasco played for the Titans, Steelers, Panthers and Bills over nine NFL seasons.

Velasco declined comment.

Valasco is the fifth member of Georgia’s staff to follow Pittman to Arkansas. The Bulldogs’ former offensive line coach also hired Scott Fountain as special-teams coordinator, Marshall Malchow as director of player personnel and Jamil Walker and Ed Ellis as director and associate director of strength and conditioning.

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